Leading Edge talks to Jorge Talavera, Corporate Affairs Manager at Cervepar, about Pilsen beer and the new Paraguay
Leading Edge (LE): What is the current opinion regarding the positioning of Paraguay in both the region and internationally?
Jorge Talavera (JT): Paraguay has managed to position itself with success as a country that is open to doing business, and with comparative advantages. It offers a stable economic environment with benefits in terms of low-cost labour and energy, as well as a simple taxation system, all of which are appealing to foreign investors.
LE: How will the national consumption situation, taking into account demographics and the growth of the middle class, affect the beer industry in Paraguay?
JT: Mass consumption categories such as beer are directly linked to levels of growth in GDP per capita. Argentina and Brazil have made an impact on the sale of products for mass consumption over recent years, through the entry of illegal products from these countries. It appears that the situation in Argentina has stabilised over the first half of this year, although Brazil continues to be a threat, due to its currency. This has forced us to develop business strategies allowing us to defend ourselves against this massive influx of products.
LE: As the indisputable leaders in the beer industry in Paraguay, give us a brief summary of the company in Paraguay and its brands.
JT: Our story began on 27th August, 1910. The company manufactures, distributes, and sells beer and different brand-name products recognised internationally. We own one industrial plant, one bottle factory, seven distribution centres, and a network of 33 independent distributors.
Cervepar is a member of the ABI InBev Group, the leading beer company and one of the largest consumer product companies in the world. Its portfolio of global brands includes Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois; the international brands Leffe, Hoegaarden, Brahma, Patagonia, and Mixxtail; and national brands such as Pilsen and Baviera. We are convinced that our people are the ambassadors of our culture and are the most valuable asset that drives us forward.
LE: What is Cervepar’s value offer to its customers as well as to Paraguay as a country?
JT: Our business model is not just limited to offering our brands to our customers. Rather, it provides a different experience in terms of our way of connecting with those customers. We are associated with large platforms such as football and causes related to the sport, such as the “Canchitas de mi Barrio” (Neighbourhood Football Fields) project, which celebrates this sport so important to us. We are also present through other brands, such as Brahma and Budweiser, at musical events. Brands such as Patagonia and Baviera are positioned as an important accompaniment in the world of fine dining at exhibitions and culinary events.
Our commitment to returnable bottles and cans is a commitment to sustainability and the environment.
As a company, we are trying to build the value of our brands through each point of contact generated between the customer and the product.
LE: What is the relationship between the Pilsen brand and the national brand?
JT: Pilsen is a 100% Paraguayan brand, which celebrates the new generation of Paraguayans who are building a new Paraguay. It celebrates the values of our culture and our youth in a different way. Pilsen is one of the brands in our portfolio with the greatest growth, accompanying the growth of Paraguay. The brand made the decision to focus all of its communication efforts on generating a positive impact through the values that are helping us to grow as a country today.
LE: How can this serve as an inspiration for other industries?
JT: Today, we are an example of how a Paraguayan company, by doing things correctly, can achieve great success. As brands, today we are inspiring other industries to pass on a message that includes the values of patriotism.
As an industry, our goal is to be able to inspire ourselves to have a positive impact on the environment while continuing to do profitable business.